Stereotype Threat Effects on Learning From a Cognitively Demanding Mathematics Lesson

Stereotype Threat Effects on Learning From a Cognitively Demanding Mathematics Lesson Stereotype threat—a situational context in which individuals are concerned about confirming a negative stereotype—is often shown to impact test performance, with one hypothesized mechanism being that cognitive resources are temporarily co‐opted by intrusive thoughts and worries, leading individuals to underperform despite high content knowledge and ability (see Schmader & Beilock, ). We test here whether stereotype threat may also impact initial student learning and knowledge formation when experienced prior to instruction. Predominantly African American fifth‐grade students provided either their race or the date before a videotaped, conceptually demanding mathematics lesson. Students who gave their race retained less learning over time, enjoyed the lesson less, reported a diminished desire to learn more, and were less likely to choose to engage in an optional math activity. The detrimental impact was greatest among students with high baseline cognitive resources. While stereotype threat has been well documented to harm test performance, the finding that effects extend to initial learning suggests that stereotype threat's contribution to achievement gaps may be greatly underestimated. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cognitive Science - A Multidisciplinary Journal Wiley

Stereotype Threat Effects on Learning From a Cognitively Demanding Mathematics Lesson

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
ISSN
0364-0213
eISSN
1551-6709
D.O.I.
10.1111/cogs.12558
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Stereotype threat—a situational context in which individuals are concerned about confirming a negative stereotype—is often shown to impact test performance, with one hypothesized mechanism being that cognitive resources are temporarily co‐opted by intrusive thoughts and worries, leading individuals to underperform despite high content knowledge and ability (see Schmader & Beilock, ). We test here whether stereotype threat may also impact initial student learning and knowledge formation when experienced prior to instruction. Predominantly African American fifth‐grade students provided either their race or the date before a videotaped, conceptually demanding mathematics lesson. Students who gave their race retained less learning over time, enjoyed the lesson less, reported a diminished desire to learn more, and were less likely to choose to engage in an optional math activity. The detrimental impact was greatest among students with high baseline cognitive resources. While stereotype threat has been well documented to harm test performance, the finding that effects extend to initial learning suggests that stereotype threat's contribution to achievement gaps may be greatly underestimated.

Journal

Cognitive Science - A Multidisciplinary JournalWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2018

Keywords: ; ; ; ; ;

References

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